The Onset (October 9, 2017)

I know that my cancer started before my symptoms but I can definitely tie my onset to early Monday Morning on October 9th.  I had been driving for Uber and was at the SF Airport and ended up taking a rider to the East Bay.  It had to be about 2-3am and I was being blown all over the bridge, it was hot outside (in the 70’s) and I could smell something burning.  Like “on fire next to me” burning.

The air quality that week was horrendous.  Later that day, on the 9th of October, my chest felt heavy, and then the cough started.  By the weekend, I was full-fledged “sick.”

I had a muscle spasm when I would cough so I wasn’t able to really get a good cough in.  It took some weeks.  By about November, the muscle spasm subsided and I was able to really cough.

I was in the shower and blowing my nose, taking in the hot steam and I coughed up something, spit it out and saw blood.  I recall having a conversation with my son that I had coughed up blood.  It wasn’t alot,, but it was blood and not normal.

I continued to drive for Uber but I was starting to take longer and longer breaks.  I wasn’t feeling well at all.  I was starting to get headaches and neckaches.  By December, I was experiencing dizziness, vertigo and nausea  I crashed my truck (not hard) at least 3-4 times into the fence or pole where I live (sardine can parking lot!)

As Christmas approached, I was starting to slow down on my driving, I’m feeling like shit daily and I’m trying my hardest to stay out a full 8 hours and/or drive at increased fare times.  I gave a ride to a friend who asked if I had been drinking because I was slurring my words.  I was all about Uber – I had a car, license, registration AND I passed a background check.  I loved that job!  LOVED IT!

I drove New Years Eve and then a couple days later and that was it.  I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I stayed at home in my bed, ordering food for delivery and I smoked pot, took Tylenol and I slept as my fatigue was really bad.

On or about January 14th, Johnny got sick and vomited.  The next two days, I was puking.  I thought I had that nasty flu.  I could feel something in my sinus passages (or so I thought) and I would need antibiotics.

I went to the urgent care department and I was hospitalized.  Within 4 hours I knew a diagnosis was coming.  I just didn’t know what they were going to call it.

Since that day, my life was turned upside down.

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